Does reading help you sleep?

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Let’s be honest, we made a grave mistake when we were younger, and we’re not afraid to admit it. Yep, rather than crying everytime our mommies and daddies tucked us in for nap-nap time, we should have embraced the guilt-free sleep. We should have taken every opportunity we had – but did we? Nuh-uh, and we hate ourselves every day because of it. Now we’re adults; we would do anything to have someone tuck us in a few times to catch a few zzz’s and wake up feeling even more refreshes. Do we now have that chance? Nuh-uh. In fact, we even find it hard to sleep at night! We’ve tried hot milk, we’ve tried not looking at luminous screens, and we’ve even tried to listen to classical music, but nothing works. This does make us wonder whether reading really does help you sleep? Well, science says a good book will have you snoozing in no time.

You don’t need to have all of the time in the world

Okay, calm down, calm down. We know some of you are quietly eyeballing the screen right now and wondering how the heck someone has time to read before bed – but you really don’t have to have all the time in the world to read a few words and get your snooze on. In fact, a cognitive neuropsychologist from the University of Sussex called Dr. David Lewis (hi, David!) has noted that it could take as little as six minutes of reading time before bed to reduce your stress levels by a whopping 68% – which will drastically increase your chances of falling asleep quickly and staying asleep for a longer period of time.

It’s not all about the story

So now that you know this epic new fact, you’re probably going to make your way to the bookstore to find the most boring book on the shelf that will put you right to sleep, right? Well, that’s not actually what this science means. More often than not, it’s not all about the story. Instead, it’s the physical action of flicking through the pages of a book that is more likely to have you snoozing in no time, because these books allow you to take yourself away from stimulating screens and technology such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops (because we all know that the lights from these bad boys do NOTHING to help our Circadian Rhythms). Numerous psychological and scientists studies have noted that those who keep away from social media and cell phones before bed feel significantly more awake during the day and fall asleep much easier. What could be better than that?

You don’t have to read The Iliad to get you to sleep

If you’re not the kind of person who likes reading books (erm, why not?) you might be wondering how you choose the right kind of book for you that will get you to sleep – but don’t worry, you don’t have to read the Iliad to get to sleep. Finding a book that will prove comforting and enjoyable is one of the best ways to ensure that you get a good snooze. To ensure maximum Z’s, you’ll need to incorporate reading into your nightly schedule. Rather than watching a show right before bed, allow yourself 20 minutes to just sit back, relax and read. If you want to really help yourself get to the land of nod, you should try to maintain a temperature of between 60 and 67 degrees in your bedroom, as well as attempting to leave your technology in another room.

Do you even need any more reasons to pick up a book and read before bed? We think not.

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